So my beef is why would your customers and prospects want to step into the visualization of Sponge Bob? Yeah he’s cute but I sure don’t want to be like him. That is why business magazines are filled with photos of good looking well dressed models. We supposedly want to be able to identify with their problem or situation. Are there exceptions to my so called rule? Yes. Can an ad be funny or clever and sell? Yes, of course. Lots of examples. One of my favorite new product introductions was the early Fed Ex ads with the super fast talking guy. His message I will never forget: ‘When it absolutely positively has to get there overnight.” He was so convincing that I still feel to this day Fed Ex is more reliable than anyone else in the business. They charged about $6 at the time, it seemed like a fortune. At the time they were taking on the 15 cent stamp from the Post Office with the semi fictitious “through rain, sleet, or snow the mail must go through.” We actually used to believe that bunk.

[...] leave the funny ads to the pros (who are quite capable of regularly messing up) and communicate your new offering with a thoughtful ad that your target market can identify with the problem-solution you offer. Use something like Paris Hilton in a swimsuit and it will make you a fortune.

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